A power expert, Kola Balogun has urged the National Assembly to expedite action on its move to decentralise the National Grid due to incessant system collapse.
Balogun, who is the chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL), made the call in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
The national grid had suffered two system collapse within the last few days resulting in blackouts in some parts of the country.
Balogun commended the efforts of the National Assembly to move electricity generation and distribution from Exclusive to the Concurrent List in the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said: “Honestly, they have taken the right step. This has been my advocacy ever since but it took them a long time to listen to us.
“We have over 30 years experience in the power sector downstream and we made recommendations that the grid should be decentralised as a matter of urgency
“We have seen that the grid system has failed us. Everytime we have system collapse because of decayed infrastructure. We need a lot of replacement.
“We need substation enhancement, distribution substations, injection substations, transmission substations and network expansion of the transmission substations.
“So, it is good that we are now moving to separate the grid to allow state and local governments interested in the sector to come in.”
Balogun, however, warned that it was not enough to clamour for the decentralisation of the national grid, stressing that past mistakes recorded in the power sector privatisation must be avoided.
He said: ” We must ensure that only people with pedigree, right technical skills and financial competence will be allowed to manage the cascaded separation of grid.
“They are to manage the sub-sector of the network and this means we have to sit down and do a proper restructuring of decentralisation to ensure that the right people are given the task.”
According to him, even some personnel who have retired from the power sector but are still technically sound can be consulted in this regard.
Balogun said there should also be a time frame and deliverables to appraise the players from time to time.
He said: “We can do an appraisal that will show that a particular local government or state has become a success story in managing its grid with the area having an uninterrupted power supply.
“That will serve as a learning curve to others and will lead to adopting their methods.
“So, the national assembly has put in a remarkable effort to decentralise the grid and they should license people on kilowatt-hour.”